Re: NFL Divisional Playoff Predictions
posted at 1/7/2013 10:09 AM EST
In response to Beantowne's comment:
Solid analysis based on the spreads Vegas thinks both AFC game will be over early in the forth with both NFC games coming down to the wire.
Food for thought.
Seattle's secondary matches up well with Atlanta's stregnths on offense. Offensively the Hawks want to run the ball early, then use play action and attack the middle of the field. To stop them you have to get penetration "run blitz"...the key is hitting Lynch before he turns upfield and levels his pads.
RESPONSE: Seattle cannot fall behind Atlanta, 14-0, the way they did against the Redskins. They must get off to a better start. They, the 49ers, and the Texans are tougher to handle when they play with a lead. Conversely, it's imperative for atlanta to jump on the young Seahawks early...and rattle them.
Green Bay is a one dimentional team with Rodgers the head of the snake, cut off the head and the snakes dies. Can San Franciso get sustained pressure on him? Haven't seen the injury report but last I checked Jusitn Smith was questionable? Sans Justin Smith getting doubled in the middle the other Smith, Alton is less effective coming off the edge. The Packers defesne is much improved with Woodson back in the mix and he'll be the key guy (spy) in helping them contain the run option. This one sets up as a Packers upset if they can, put a couple TD's on the board early, contain the run option and force the niners to throw the ball...
RESPONSE: As is the case with Atlanta above, the Packers must get off to a good start, and take an early lead. If they play catch-up ball, they'll get beat. All Green Bay needed to do to earn a playoff bye was to beat the one dimensional Vikings. Had they done so, the 49ers would had to have played the Bears last Sunday, while the Pack rested...and the battle with the 49ers would have taken place on the frozen tundra, at Lambeau Field. The extra week of rest surely helped Justin Smith. My guess is that he'll be ready to go. I really like the 49ers in this one.
Ravens have all the tools in the box to upset the Broncos just wondering if like the tin man they lack "heart" Flaco in particular. The game plan for the Ravens should be simple enough. Punch Manning in the mouth and run Rice until his legs fall off...executing it is another matter entirely...
RESPONSE: I don't think the Buzzards lack heart. They're an older team, battling injuries. A healthy Terrell Suggs is what they need to have to pressure the Horseface. But, Suggs isn't healthy...neither is Ray Lewis, or Haloti Ngata. As for their secondary, star CB Lardarius Webb is out, and both safeties, Bernard Pollard and Ed Reed, are nicked up. As for Flacco, this game presents for him a gloriuos opportunity. Play well, and he'll likely be rewarded with a huge contract, after the season. As is the case for both Green Bay and Atlanta, for the Ravens to have a chance of winning, they must get off to a great start. Fall behind early, and it's likely going to be a field day for ol' Horseface.
The Blue Print for stopping the Broncos isn't much different than the Packers and the Patriots...You gotta disquise the coverages and get sustained pressure on the QB. A defesne the Ravens devised to stop the Patriots, that has been used by team with the right personell packages since 2007 (Giants). Which stop the run, they play press on the outside and get after the QB.
RESPONSE: Easier said than done. The Horseface is playing as well as ever. The Ravens must get him off his spot, and rattle him a bit. If allowed to stand unfettered in the pocket, Manning will pick their defense apart.
Texans played like a determined Supererbowl team vs the Bengals. Was it the quality of the opponant or was it the Texans simply playing inspired football for the first time in a month? They looked like a different team and out physicaled (if thats a word?). The Bengals and the most telling thing that came from that game was the pressure they were able to generate to knock Dalton on his can more than a half dozen times...See above for the key for Houtons defense...On Offense it's simple...they have to run the ball early and often with success to the right side...if they can't then it limmits what they can do in the passing game in particular the play action...Take away Foster and you al but kill the snake...
RESPONSE: I don't think that the Texans played great against the Bengals. Frankly, I thought that they were lucky to win. Bengals' QB Andy Dalton was terrible...and their offensive game plan was almost equally as bad. Dalton missed a wide open AJ Green, late in the game...and could never make a big play. J.J. Watt had another outstanding game. But, if Watt can be neutralized, the remainder of their defense can be had. Houston's secondary is vunerable. On offense, the Texans are all about the run, and Arian Foster. Stop Foster, and you stop the Texans.
All for games should be fun...I like
Ravens, Patriots, Seahawks and Green Bay....
RESPONSE: I can't see the old, beat up Ravens beating Denver. Green Bay has a shot, but I like the 49ers. Agree on the Pats and Seahawks.